It has been rumored that the great Egyptian Pyramids that are considered a wonder of the world were built by slave labor. It has also been mentioned that some of the great Roman and Greek monuments and buildings were built using slave labor. Warships from another time were manned by “galley slaves.” Transportation for ancient Royalty was provided by slaves. Besides elephants what kind of labor pool did Hannibal use to build the alpine roads? Most, but not all slaves, from this time in history were captured in battle or taken from their homes in raids and most were literally worked to death.
Under the Union Jack over a million Irish people were taken from their homes because the rulers of England declared that the Irish could not own property and that the Irish would be immediately killed if caught practicing their form of religion, speaking their native language or playing their musical instruments. In some cases Irish that once owned their land were forced into slave labor for the English landlord who stole the land from them. Displaced Irish families were left to die of starvation.
Over 6.25 million, yes I write, million Jews died in concentration camps under the then flag of Nazi Germany. Many of the concentration camp prisoners were allowed to die after they could no longer perform slave labor. Were these concentrations camps destroyed as a symbol of hate? No, seven concentration camps of the Holocaust have been preserved and stand as a memorial and a symbol so that type of atrocity be never again.
The flag that represents the United States of America that flies proudly in every courthouse in this great country was the flag seen by Mexican men, women and children before being taken into the street and fields and murdered by U.S. soldiers during the American/Mexican war.
As for hate, under the Red, White and Blue stars and stripes U.S. soldiers tracked down and murdered countless numbers of American Indians/Native Americans in the U.S. government ethnic cleansing. We can now watch reruns of movies made to glorify the slaughter. When it was no longer deemed necessary to kill the “red devils” as Hollywood named them, under the U.S. of A. flag they were removed from their lands and placed were our government wanted them. Namely reservations.
Right across the beautiful Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland over 30,000 Confederate prisoners of war were allowed to die of disease and starvation in Maryland’s own Camp Sumter/Andersonville. The last flag those dying men saw was the Red, White and Blue with stars and stripes.
Let’s not forget about the relatives of Japanese Americans that were removed from their homes and interned here in the United States, under the American flag, just because of their heritage.
How many of us may have wished to visit the great pyramids to admire their ageless wonder? How many of us drive cars produced in a country whose leader at the time once tried to exterminate an entire race? How many of us have relatives that came from an island that is now peacefully co-habited by both English and Irish? How many of us admire or even study the great structures in ancient Rome or Greece? How many have visited or wish to visit the land of our ancestors to learn about our history and appreciate the contributions made to our society, in some cases by struggle? How many have married into families that were once enemies of our ancestors? How many of us had relatives that were in Gettysburg in 1913 and witnessed the burying of the hatchet? How many Native Americans now fly the American Flag? How many of us are from rich histories that include man’s great atrocities to man?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I’m no expert yet I know that I will receive many corrections by those that just like to be right about everything.
Thinking of the Gettysburg address that was once taught in elementary school when Lincoln made his walk on speech nowhere did he write that the battlefield should be dedicated to just one side of the battle. Fancy this, not one mention of Union or Confederate. And, as history has it, the night before the dedication President Lincoln asked a sidewalk band to play “Dixie.”
What I do know is that if we took half the time we use to perpetuate hate and diversity and put it into trying to teach peace and understanding we could go a long way in ending discord here in our Talbot County. If we took time to look out for our neighbor or take a kid on a picnic or better yet pray for peace whom would it hurt?
Everyone whose name appears on a piece of inanimate material as a memorial marker was once someone’s husband, wife, son, daughter, grandfather or grandmother or some other loved relative. They deserve to rest in peace.
If we tried to listen rather then wanting to hear ourselves expressing our anger towards a piece of rock we could all work together to have what our forefathers penned as One nation, Under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. The two words Under God were not in the original but added later when wise people figured out we need help.